Biking through Paris

My friend Ann just arrive to Paris for studying at Sorbonne University. She rents an apartment for a few weeks in the quartier Latin, center Paris. As an avid biker in New York, she decided to travel by bike in Paris. “It is exhilarating to travel through Paris by bycicle at street level. It is an amazing experience and I encourage all of you that like biking to do the same but listen to those safety tips...

bike-pOn a bike you are the driver of a vehicle in your own right and, as such, must obey the Highway Code.  It is a question of safety – for yourself and for other road users.

 

It is prohibited to

  • Ride through a red light (an offence responsible for 50 accidents involving injury to cyclists in Paris in 2014
  • Ride on pavements
  • Hold your mobile phone in your hand when riding your bike
  • Be towed by another vehicle or ride two-up when the bike is not equipped for this
  • Ride the wrong way down one-way streets unless there are specific road signs or markings
  • Attach your bike to urban furniture apart from equipment specially designed for this use

Remember the most vulnerable pedestrians (children, seniors and the disabled) when parking your bike!

 

Safety tips

  • Obey the right-of-way when crossing intersections
  • Give pedestrians right-of-way when they are crossing the road
  • Give hand signals whenever changing direction
  • Be aware that doors of parked vehicles may open suddenly (cause of 103 accidents causing injury in Paris in 2014)
  • Be careful of pedestrians emerging from between parked vehicles
  • Be visible at night!  Have a front and rear light, reflectors and wear light-coloured or reflective clothing 
  • Never overtake a lorry or bus on the right
  • Never overtake a lorry when it is manoeuvring


Special roads and signage for cyclists

Cycle path: a road reserved solely for bikes.  If it is two-way, you must ride in the right-hand lane (Art R. 431-9)
Cycle lane: this is a one-way lane on a road with several lanes reserved solely for the use of bikes
“Bike boxes”: these boxes (two stop lines set back from the pedestrian crossing point at traffic light intersections) were created to enable cyclists to be in a leading position to cross the intersection or be on the left to turn.  In Paris, only cyclists are authorised to ride through these “bike boxes” when a traffic light is on red.
You must not ride on pavements, which are reserved for pedestrians .

Bonne balade, Catherine

© Pictures: front page istock

Catherine - Guide

Bonjour, my name is Catherine. I live in the heart of Paris. I’ve always loved to travel and, over the years, I developed it into a real art: the right addresses, the suitcase, how to manage fatigue with my Parisian look! From Cannes to Antigua, from the red carpet to Pilates, I have to live up to the reputation. I have small apartments in Paris that I rent out. I love to personally welcome my guests and give them some recommendations about life in Paris “living like a true Parisian and not like a simple tourist in an elegant private suit in the heart of the city”.

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